It’s pretty hard to rank derby games and clashes between rivals in the world of football. Hard as you may, the feistiness of a clash between two bitter rivals is largely dependent on a number of factors including geographical location, the history between them, among many other things.
And these factors usually influence even one of the biggest rivalries in football, La Liga’s El Clasico. And for the first time this season, we will see the rivalry play out before our eyes as both sides face off. Both sides have had an awkward start to the season. For the sake of context, none of these two sides are in the top two spots in the league.
Real Madrid, in third, have won three games this season, but have struggled in front of goal. They have only scored six goals this season, letting in three. But don’t be deceived by that defense. Despite their UCL opponents missing key players, Real Madrid still lost their opening game by a 2 –3 score line. That was after suffering a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Getafe.
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It’s almost the same story for Barcelona.
Although the Catalan giants won their own Champions League opener, it was a bounce back from their defeat at the hands of Getafe. Placed ninth, Barcelona have played one game less than Madrid. But unlike the Los Blancos, they have not struggled to score. With eight goals scored in two, they’re the second-joint top scorers in the league.
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It’s not called a rivalry for nothing. Although the hype surrounding the first El Clasico of the season is not as loud as it used to be, it’s still very much the game that football fans want to see – Cristiano Ronaldo or not.
The goals have somewhat dried up in the most recent editions of this rivalry. Only one of the last five meetings between these two sides has produced three goals. And only once did both sides score in that run of games.
You have to go as far back as 2016 to find a Real Madrid win at the Camp Nou. Since that 2-1 win over Barcelona, both sides have played four El Clasico games with Barcelona as the home side. While both sides scored in all four games, Barcelona never lost any.
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There have been no red cards shown in the last seven El Clasico games. But only two of those games have ended in a draw. Both sides need a win this game: to climb up the La LIga table, for bragging rights and, of course, for a morale boost. When more than three points is on the line in a game like this, which team will you be backing?
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